Neural stem cells in the adult subventricular zone and dentate gyrus might be utilized to replace lost neurons in neurological disorders. The development of treatments would be facilitated by identifying the mechanisms that contribute to functional neurogenesis in adult animals. This review focuses on the emerging view that localized and overlapping pathways of growth factors, metalloproteases, neurotransmitters and hormones regulate different aspects of neurogenesis within the neurogenic niches. Neuroblast migration is precisely regulated by cooperation between several repellants, attractants and guidance molecules that are located within specific CNS regions. Further elucidation of crucial molecular regulators and integration of their signaling cascades should lead to more rational and effective approaches to harness the exciting phenomenon of adult CNS neurogenesis.